Cybersecurity Investment Grows In 2020, But Organizations Face Record Data Breaches

“Prioritize cybersecurity and invest in broadening protection, detection and response measures or face disaster,” is the message from Canalys Chief Analyst Matthew Ball. According to the latest analysis from Canalys this is the stark reality facing organizations in 2021. For many, it is too late. 

The data breach crisis escalated last year, as more records were compromised in just 12 months than in the previous 15 years combined. Ransomware attacks surged with tragic consequences, as hospitals were specifically targeted. Several high-profile organizations went out of business in 2020 and surviving organizations had to implement business continuity measures quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic or face ruin. This was often at the expense of cybersecurity and bypassed longstanding corporate policies, leaving many exposed to exploitation by highly organized and sophisticated threat actors, as well as other more opportunistic hackers.

In a new two-part special report ‘Now and Next for the cybersecurity industry’ Canalys notes that Cybersecurity investment outperformed other segments of the IT industry in 2020, growing 10% to US$53 billion. However, business continuity and workforce productivity took precedence over security during the pandemic. According to Canalys estimates, cloud infrastructure services grew 33% in 2020 to US$142 billion, representing an increase of US$45 billion in annual spend against 2019. Cloud software services increased more than 20% during the same period. Zoom’s reported revenue jumped over 300%, while Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce maintained strong double-digit growth. Notebook PC shipments also had a record year, surging 17%, and are forecast to grow further in 2021. Logitech’s webcam business also hit a record high, increasing 138% on a trailing four-quarter basis. And sales growth of home Wi-Fi routers exceeded 40%, as remote workers looked to improve their connectivity, while home printers and ink sold out.

“Cybersecurity must be front and center of digital plans, otherwise there will be a mass extinction of organizations, which will threaten the post-COVID-19 economic recovery,” said Ball. “A lapse in focus on cybersecurity is already having major repercussions, resulting in the escalation of the current data breach crisis and acceleration of ransomware attacks.”

Canalys covers the detail in the ‘Now and Next for the cybersecurity industry’ report. The first part is complimentary and provides analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the cybersecurity industry, as digital transformation accelerates, workforces evolve to be more decentralized, and IT becomes perimeter-less. Part 1 is available now and covers the following:

  • The acceleration of digital transformation by COVID-19 and its risks
  • The implications of changing workforce dynamics
  • Perimeter-less IT and its challenges
  • The data breach crisis and surge in ransomware attacks
  • The increasing sophistication of threats
  • The strengthening of data regulations

The second report in this series, published next month, provides analysis of the cybersecurity vendor ecosystem and market opportunity. Available to purchase from April, the areas covered include:

  • The diversity of the cybersecurity vendor ecosystem
  • The strategies of the top 10 leading vendors
  • Generalists versus specialists as a strategy
  • Merger and acquisition trends
  • The next cybersecurity innovation and market leaders
  • Five-year forecasts   
Matthew Ball